Notícias Federalistas de 28/11/2008

Antes de qualquer outra coisa, gostaria de pedir mais uma vez para quem crê no Deus vivo passar algum tempo em oração pelo povo de Santa Catarina. Se tiver condições de ajudar de alguma outra maneira também, acesse o site oficial da Defesa Civil de Santa Catarina para ver o que e como você pode contribuir.

Recebi a edição mas recente do Boletim do Instituto Federalista, e repasso aqui linques para quatro dos artigos. Verifique!

Quando uma Federação se une!

A crise mundial e a impropriedade dos remédios


A privatização dos presídios pode salvar o sistema penitenciário

Verifique também:
Estado de Calamidade Pública em Santa Catarina

What I Could Scrape Together on the Blackberry Storm

The video above from Jon4lakers compares the new Blackberry Storm from Verizon Wireless with the Apple iPhone from AT&T. Draw your own conclusions.

If you want to read the user manual, click here to see The Boy Genius Report’s gallery. BGR went to great lengths to make this available. You can also see Blackberry’s interactive user manual for the Storm by clicking here.

Finally, Verizon Wireless employee was naughty, leaking an internal training manual on the Blackberry Storm. Nothing too thrilling (corporate training manuals never are), but you can click here to read it if you are curious.

Pro Se Americans Clogging Courts

Having done all of my own visa paperwork when I moved to Brazil, my wife and step-daughter’s immigration paperwork coming to the U.S. and then my wife’s naturalization paperwork, I’ve had some experience taking care of legal matters myself. There was also one matter shortly after I moved to New Jersey that I resolved myself, without the assistance of a lawyer. I’m a fan of do-it-yourself legal work and think it’s great that in the United States we can still do this. At the same time, I know my limits.

In Brazil everyone must have a lawyer to have any matter taken care of in court. Even a lawyer has to have a lawyer to represent him or her in court. This always irked me. While I understand that the courts need to maintain efficiency and can’t be slowed down constantly by unprepared litigants representing themselves, it seems as though qualified people should be allowed to handle their own matters.

According to an article in ABA Journal Law News Now, even middle-class Americans are opting for self-representation in complex civil cases. Unfamiliar with legal lingo and court proceedings, they are slowing the entire process down. With lawyers charging hundreds of dollars per hour of work on a client’s case, it’s no wonder people are avoiding them. The economic downturn is certain to worsen the situation as well, with people unable to afford legal representation in civil matters.

So, what do you think? Should people be allowed to represent themselves in court, even in fairly complex civil cases like personal bankruptcy (this used to be relatively simple), divorce where a lot of property is involved and child custody disputes?

See Also:
More Americans Go Pro Se, Even in Complex Matters (ABA Journal Law News Now)
Pro se legal representation in the United States (Wikipedia)

Even Better Than the Real Thing

Photographers couldn’t take good pictures of the moon in the 1800’s. In fact, no really good photos were available until the time of the lunar landings of the late 1960s, early 1970s. However, in the 1870s James Nasmyth and James Carpenter released a book of very realistic lunar photos. The thing is, these were actually pictures of moon models. Not that it was a secret that these weren’t “real” photos of the moon. Actually, astronomers knew they weren’t. It was just felt that photos of models were better than standard drawings. The funny thing is that as I look through the images, the fake pictures actually look better to me than the real ones taken by the astronauts.

Check out the full book here. H/T to Wired.